Thank you for taking the time to teach us how to fly fish!

Foster Child

Denver, Colorado Project

Denver, Colorado Project

Lead Mentor: Steve Nagy

Project location: Denver, Colorado

Year project founded: 2017, by Heather Sees

Mentors on this team: 30

Children mentored to date: 40

Children to be mentored in 2021: 10

Local foster care partners: Denver Children’s Home, Department of Health and Welfare

Local companies that support this project:  The Denver Fly Shop, Fishpond, Riversmith, Schwab Charitable, and searching for more community partners.

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Denver, Colorado Project

We get to show our kids that we care–that we will invest the time and effort to get to learn with them, and that our rivers and lakes are for them, not just a privileged few.

Steve Nagy

Lead Mentor, Denver, Colorado Project

Project Mentors

STEVE NAGY, LEAD MENTOR 

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Steve is a native of Ohio, where he spent every free minute of his childhood fishing local rivers and streams. After finishing his education, Steve fell in love with the mountains and moved to Colorado in 2007. He learned to fly fish through the generosity of many kind and interesting people, many of them strangers. Steve makes his living as an attorney in Denver. He is a husband and father of two adventurous kids and his fishing buddy Drake – a black lab. Steve spends as much time as possible fishing throughout Colorado and the west, camping, and exploring with his family. He is also an avid fly tier. Fly fishing has been an incredibly positive force in Steve’s life, and he is looking forward to sharing through his role as a Mayfly Project lead mentor.

NIKI COUSINS, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

Niki is a Denver native that grew up experiencing everything the Colorado outdoors has to offer. Just over a year ago Niki picked up a fly rod for the first time and has been obsessed ever since. In that short amount of time, she has become a board member for The Greenbacks, an ambassador for WETFLY, and was the lead mentor for the 2019 TMP Denver Project.

JANE RUTHERFORD, MENTOR

Aurora, Colorado

Jane grew up fishing for salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River, and fishing for trout in the lakes and streams of Washington State. As a retiree, she returned to Colorado and started fly fishing in 2015. Although new to the sport of fly fishing, she ties and casts both western and eastern (tenkara) style bugs. As a mother of two (now adult) children, she is eager to mentor foster children in the joys of the great outdoors. Jane has been a great support to our Colorado project since 2017!

BRADEY HALL, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

Born in Texas and raised in Colorado. Bradeys loves the outdoors and is stoked to be able to teach fly fishing to others. Bradey began fishing at a young age but it wasn’t until his Senior year of College he began fly fish. Currently located in Colorado he is our lead mentor in Colorado Springs. Bradey loves fishing rivers all over Colorado but would pick Cheeseman Canyon as his favorite place to fish. “It’s the balance of peace and chaos that got me addicted to fly fishing,” Bradey Hall.

 

CHARLIE SCHOENHERR, MENTOR

Glendale, Colorado

A recent transplant from Texas, Charlie is a 6th grade English teacher by trade, but spends all of his time on the water. He has fished/ lived in Virginia, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. Being a teacher, Charlie has a propensity for the betterment of all people he encounters. On the river or in the classroom, Charlie has always done his best to make sure everyone is happy and ready to have fun. Charlie has a natural temperament around children that allows them to feel welcomed and know that they are going to leave that day with a smile and a memory. Tight lines!

TRAVIS COE, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

Travis is a Colorado native who grew up in Evergreen. Growing up, baseball was his passion, but once he graduated from Colorado State University, fly fishing became his new addiction. Now, every chance he gets, he escapes to the river to enjoy the scenery and to challenge himself to become a better angler. Travis enjoys teaching his friends and co-workers the art of fly fishing and has had so much fun doing so, he and his good friend started a fly fishing reporting and forecasting website called FlyCast River Forecast that helps anglers of all skill levels have a fun day on the river. Travis is very excited about the opportunity to share his passion for fly fishing and the outdoors through the Mayfly Project. recent transplant from Texas, Charlie is a 6th grade English teacher by trade, but spends all of his time on the water. He has fished/ lived in Virginia, Texas, Utah, and Colorado.

CHRIS PICKETT, MENTOR

Arvada, Colorado

Chris is a Colorado native and grew up wading streams and flipping lures with his dad throughout the US. He started fly fishing while getting his engineering degree at Colorado School of Mines. Whether fishing, playing volleyball, camping, or wheeling in the Jeep, he loves getting to immerse in the beauty that the mountains have to offer. After getting exposed to the foster care system through the adoption of his niece, Chris is extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Mayfly Project.

LISA LE, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

Lisa is an Oklahoma native and grew up spinning rod fishing. It wasn’t until her move to Colorado did she pick up fly fishing. She became obsessed from the very moment she picked up a fly rod. She is a pediatric echocardiographer and finds joy in taking care of the pediatric population. She has fished all over Colorado, but especially loves fishing in high alpine lakes or rivers. Her favorite catches are cutthroat and brown trouts. She loves being outdoors and you can find her on the water with her husband and bernedoodle-Traveler. Fly fishing brings peace and serenity to her psyche and she is looking forward to sharing her passion for sport and nature with the younger generation.

JOSH MAGNUS, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

I began fishing with my dad at a young age in different mountain lakes around Colorado. I remember being bored and enjoying throwing rocks and exploring more than casting. However, I do have a fond memory of using a Silver Fox lure in Montana, catching 10+ trout in a mountain lake, and bringing back a stinger packed with fish to my surprised parents and family members. Fast forward to 2010 and I am following my dad around with a fly rod. It was frustrating to learn and I remember being tangled in more trees and bushes than actually having my line in the water. However, I stuck with it because feeling a fish on the line was such a thrill and being outside in beautiful, peaceful environments was a great getaway from the stresses of daily life. I finally became confident fly fishing in the beginning of 2017 and with that confidence began to fish and explore quit a bit. The summer of 2018 was a catalyst to my fly fishing journey thus far. I had some time off over the summer and began to take my friends and friends/family members of friends out fishing. I found I really enjoyed guiding and teaching those new to the sport. I enjoy taking my 6 year old son fishing and am excited to pack my 6 month old and get him on the water next summer. I’m excited to use my skills and excitement of teaching to help young people discover a sport that they can take with them and grow into wherever life takes them.

JOE ZELL, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

A St Louis Missouri native, Joe grew up fishing in the nearby Ozarks. After moving to Colorado in the early 90’s, he took up fly fishing and now as he moves into retirement, is spending much more time on the water. Joe is married and has four adult children (two from his first marriage and two step kids). Joe spent the first twenty years of his career in the communications sector and for the last eighteen years has been a venture capitalist, investing in early stage software companies. He loves the outdoors and is excited to be a Mayfly Mentor!

SARAH VERNO, MENTOR

Littleton, Colorado

Born and raised in Colorado, I grew up learning to cast alongside my brother in the front lawn. Our dad, a skilled fisherman, still maintains that our mom was his greatest catch. Together they taught me the values of patience, persistence, compassion, and faithfulness. The rhythms of casting and currents helped me learn to deal with anxiety, to embrace uncertainty, and to confidently approach life with grit and hope. I’m honored to be a mentor this season, and I’m eager to meet more anglers and use my love for fly fishing to positively impact our community.

BOB GETZ, MENTOR

Centennial, Colorado

I grew up in California. Went to UC Davis where I started in Engineering and graduated with a degree in Music and a Secondary Teaching Credential. I taught guitar in Woodland for 3 years and then was hired by Lockheed Missiles & Space in Sunnyvale. I had a great career working: U2, SR71 (ASARS), spin stabilized satellites, ELINT, intel, TITAN, and Missile Defense.
Moving to Colorado in 1986 drew me in to fly fishing & tying. I have been a member of CCTU for years and love to participate in the activities. I t is a lot of fun tying flies at The Fly Fishing Show & the ISE every year.
I love Jesus, playing guitar, spending time with family, and organic gardening.
My favorite place to fish? As many places as possible!

HUNTER GARTH, MENTOR

Denver, Colorado

Hunter learned how to fish with his grandfather in the lakes of Georgia. At 13 his family moved to Port St. Joe, Florida, here he would fall in love with the sport. Living on the water provided an opportunity for Hunter to fish often, and that is exactly what he did. Having this much access to fishable water, he developed a deep sense of respect for our natural resources and the grand problem solving involved in fishing. At 19, Hunter joined the Marine Corps, and his love of fishing would take a backseat to his responsibilities for a few years. Today, Hunter is teaching his two kids to fly fish, still fishes with his grandfather, frequents the trout streams in Colorado, and can’t wait to share his love of fishing to anyone willing to listen!

News & Events

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TMP Founder, Jess Westbrook, is honored to speak with Dave Steward of Wet Fly Swing Podcast recently! Jess Westbrook shares the amazing stories behind the Mayfly Project that he created to help foster kids change their lives with fly fishing. Today, we find out what...

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Denver, Colorado Project

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